A memoir can be published in a diary, or a monograph, online as a blog, or as a docudrama on television. Disambiguating between genre and format (if by format we mean physical or electronic medium) is difficult, but is done routinely within the museum realm. Fortunately, the Getty AAT has organized their vocabulary in a way that allows us to disambiguate genre and format.

Ruth, EAD 2002 doesn't have @localtype, but it does have @type, which is functionally equivalent.


On Wed, Apr 26, 2017 at 9:52 AM, Bowers, Kate A. <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Controlled vocabularies combine genre and form because there is no clear-cut way to differentiate these and there is very little point in arguing about which list a term should be in.

Quoting from the MARC format 655, which covers genre, form, and physical characteristics

"Examples of genre terms for textual materials are: biographies, catechisms, essays, hymns, or reviews. Examples of form and physical characteristic terms are: daybooks, diaries, directories, journals, memoranda, questionnaires, syllabi, or time sheets. "

Well, that's nice--diaries are only form/physical characterics?! So, my *memoir* can be a genre, but my *diary* can only be a form? Surely you want memoirs and diaries to be on the same list of options.

Kate Bowers

Collections Services Archivist for Metadata, Systems, and Standards

Harvard University Archives

[log in to unmask]


voice: (617) 998-5238

fax: (617) 495-8011


Twitter: @k8_bowers

From: Encoded Archival Description List <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Jane Stevenson <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, April 26, 2017 4:29 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [EAD] Genre and Form
HI there,

i’ve never been quite clear about the <genreform> tag.

The EAD2002 and EAD3 guide says:

"A term that identifies the types of material being described, by naming the style or technique of their intellectual content (genre); order of information or object function (form); and physical characteristics. Examples include: account books, architectural drawings, portraits, short stories, sound recordings, and videotapes.”

But genre is a style, like ‘gothic’ architecture or ‘romantic’ literature or ‘garage’ music. So, you might say the ‘form’ is a short story or a videotape, but the genre is ‘comedy’ or ‘documentary’.

It just doesn’t seem like these are the same thing and I’ve never understood why they are put together.

I just wondered if anyone has any thoughts on this. I’ve just never been able to convey it to our contributors in a way that makes sense to me because describing something as a ’short story’ seems very different from describing its style as, say, ‘romantic’ in terms of genre. I’ve never understood why we put these together.


Jane Stevenson
Archives Hub Service Manager
[log in to unmask]

Jisc is a registered charity (number 1149740) and a company limited by guarantee which is registered in England under Company No. 5747339, VAT No. GB 197 0632 86. Jisc’s registered office is: One Castlepark, Tower Hill, Bristol, BS2 0JA. T 0203 697 5800.

Jisc Services Limited is a wholly owned Jisc subsidiary and a company limited by guarantee which is registered in England under company number 2881024, VAT number GB 197 0632 86. The registered office is: One Castle Park, Tower Hill, Bristol BS2 0JA. T 0203 697 5800.